Cicada Mania

The Cicada Mania Blog: News, Findings, and Discoveries About Cicadas.

November 7, 2013

New Species of Tibicen: Tibicen neomexicensis

Filed under: Tibicen — by @ 6:19 am

A new species of Tibicen cicada, Tibicen neomexicensis, has been described by Brian J. Stucky.

Read more about Morphology, bioacoustics, and ecology of Tibicen neomexicensis sp. n., a new species of cicada from the Sacramento Mountains in New Mexico, U.S.A. (Hemiptera, Cicadidae, Tibicen).

Thanks to David Marshall for the tip.

August 9, 2013

August is a great time to look for Tibicen cicadas in North America

Filed under: North America,Tibicen,Video — by @ 9:33 am

Now is a great time to look and listen for Tibicen cicadas in North America. Tibicen are the medium to large sized annual cicadas. Typically they are well camouflaged – with colors like black, white, green & brown.

During the day you can listen for them, of course, and spot them that way. Try Insect Singers for cicada songs. You can also look for their exuvia (skins), and if you’re lucky you can catch on on a low branch.

Last night I started looking around 10pm and found three Swamp Cicadas (T. tibicen tibicen) shedding their skins on trees around the yard. I also collected about 30 exuvia (skins). All in a quarter acre yard. Take a look at this video:

Swamp Cicada shedding its nymphal skin from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

Swamp Cicada

Teneral Swamp Cicada

July 30, 2013

Tibicen auletes in Manchester, NJ

Filed under: Tibicen,Video — Tags: — by @ 8:44 pm

Last night I went on an exploration of Manchester, NJ looking for Tibicen auletes (Germar, 1834) with Elias Bonaros and his friend Annette.

T. auletes, are known as the Northern Dusk Singing Cicada. As their name suggests, T. auletes calls at dusk, around sunset. Their call is amazing – visit Insect Singers to hear their call.

Luckily I found a (deceased) female and an exuvia (nymph skin). Elias and Annette found many exuvia and a live nymph. We were able to watch the nymph undergo ecdysis (leave its exuvia, and expand its adult body).

Here are some images of the cicadas we found last night (click the first two images to get to larger versions):

Tibicen auletes female Manchester NJ

Tibicen auletes female Manchester NJ ventral

Tibicen auletes nymph Manchester NJ

Some (blurry) video:

Dan and Elias netting a T. auletes exuvia. Photo by Annette DeGiovine-Oliveira:

Dan and Elias Lakewood New Jersey_7-29-13 by Annette DeGiovine-Oliveira

June 2, 2013

Tibicen bermudiana, an extinct cicada

Filed under: Extinct,Tibicen — by @ 7:25 am

The Tibicen bermudiana Verrill (T. bermudianus if you want the genus and species names to agree) is a cicada that was endemic to Bermuda and is now extinct. Its closest relative is the Tibicen lyricen, which is found in the United States (and not extinct).

Here is a photo of a T. bermudiana from the collection found at the Staten Island Museum:

Tibicen bermudiana of Bermuda

More photos.

From the Bermuda’s Fauna website:

Sadly, when most of the Bermuda cedar trees were killed of by a blight in the 1950s, the cicadas that made the nights so uniquely magical and romantic in sound also largely disappeared.

April 9, 2013

Biogeography of the Cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) of North America, North of Mexico

We are excited to announce the availability of a document by Allen F. Sanborn and Polly K. Phillips titled Biogeography of the Cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) of North America, North of Mexico. This document features distribution maps for North American cicada species! This document is an excellent companion to The Cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadoidea: Cicadidae) of North America North of Mexico by Allen F. Sanborn and Maxine S. Heath (link to that book).

You can download the PDF here www.cicadamania.com/downloads/diversity-05-00166.pdf.

Abstract: We describe and illustrate the biogeography of the cicadas inhabiting continental North America, north of Mexico. Species distributions were determined through our collecting efforts as well as label data from more than 110 institutional collections. The status of subspecies is discussed with respect to their distributions. As we have shown over limited geographic areas, the distribution of individual species is related to the habitat in which they are found. We discuss the biogeography of the genera with respect to their phylogenetic relationships. California is the state with the greatest alpha diversity (89 species, 46.6% of taxa) and unique species (35 species, 18.3% of taxa). Texas, Arizona, Colorado and Utah are the states with the next greatest alpha diversity with Texas, Arizona and Utah being next for unique species diversity. Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island are the states with the least amount of cicada diversity. Diversity is greatest in states and areas where there is a diversity of plant communities and habitats within these communities. Mountainous terrain also coincides with increases in diversity. Several regions of the focus area require additional collection efforts to fill in the distributions of several species.
Keywords: cicada; distribution; Diceroprocta; Tibicen; Okanagana; Okanagodes; Cacama; Magicicada; Platypedia; Cicadetta

An example of a map from the document:

Example Map

January 15, 2013

Tibicen or Lyristes

Filed under: Lyristes,Tibicen — by @ 8:50 pm

A Tibicen by any other name would still sound as sweet…

I always wondered why Lyristes plebejus is also called Tibicen plebejus.

It seems that there is a dispute as to whether the genus Tibicen should actually be called Lyristes. A petition was made (back in the 1980s) to the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, to change Tibicen to Lyristes. I learned this from the wonderful new book, The Cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadoidea: Cicadidae) of North America North of Mexico by Allen F. Sanborn and Maxine S. Heath (order it). I checked the ICZN website, and the petition appears to fallen off their docket of open cases. I also noticed that on European and Japanese websites, they use Lyristes.

I personally hope the genus name doesn’t change for North American species — I would have to make a lot of changes on this website. Going through the name change from Tibicen chloromera to Tibicen chloromerus to Tibicen tibcen, was bad enough.

The root of the word Tibicen is flute player, and the root of the word Lyristes is lyre — both referring to musical instruments. (Frankly I think most Tibicen sound like power tools — I don’t know Latin for Black & Decker).

BTW, this is a Lyristes plebejus (from Spain):

Freshly emerged male Tibicen/Lyristes plebejus

And this is a Lyristes flammatus (from Japan):

Tibicen flammatus

And some day, this might be a Lyristes auletes (from North Carolina):

Tibicen auletes

November 12, 2012

A large smashed Tibicen auletes

Filed under: Tibicen — by @ 9:57 pm

Even smashed, cicadas can be interesting. Found in Baltimore, MD.


Smashed Auletes

View the BIG version of the image to see the details.

It was a male Tibicen auletes. Thanks to Elias Bonaros for the ID.

August 13, 2012

A Tibicen tibicen (chloromera) singing

Filed under: Annual,Tibicen,Video — by @ 7:41 am

The trees near where I work are chocked full of Tibicen tibicen cicadas (formerly known as T. chloromera, also known as Swamp cicadas).

Here is a short video featuring the call of a Tibicen tibicen that I recorded this morning:

Here’s a sound file of the cicada’s song…

August 12, 2012

Tibicen canicularis – Dog Star Rising

Filed under: Annual,Tibicen — by @ 9:34 am

Mid-August is approaching, and the “Dog Days” of summer are almost here. Sirius (the Dog Star) and the constellation Canis Major will soon begin to appear in the early morning sky. Now is also the time that Tibicen canicularis, the Dog Day Day cicada, is also making its presence known in the U.S.A.

This is a photo of a T. canicularis (Dog Day cicada) next to a T. davisi (Southern Dog Day cicada) by by Paul Krombholz:

T. canicularis looks quite different from T. davisi

T. canicularis has a green pronotal collar, green markings on its pronotum, and at least some, if not all, orange colors on its mesonotum (where the M is on the cicada’s back). T. canicularis sounds like (to me at least) a circular saw buzzing through a plank in wood in a neighbor’s garage.

Imagine that you are a farmer waking just before dawn and seeing the first signs of Sirius, the Dog Star, and then later in the day, hearing T. canicularis singing away in the trees surrounding your fields. Those two signs are signals that summer is reaching its peak, and harvest will start soon enough.

Here is a screen capture of the computer app Stellarium, with Canis Major and Sirius rising above the horizon before dawn.

Sirius rising

If you’re interested in stars, check out Stellarium. It is free.

Visit the Songs of Insects site for a nice photo and sound file of the Dog Day cicada. Also by their book Songs of Insects – is is inexpensive and comes with a CD.

June 10, 2012

Various cicada species emerging in the United States

Filed under: Cacama,Neocicada,Okanagana,Platypedia,Tibicen — by @ 8:11 am

Brood I Magicicada periodical cicadas continue to emerge in VA, WA and TN. Magicicada stragglers belonging to other broods, continue to emerge as well.

Neocicada hieroglyphica are around as well, particularly in Florida [link goes to image].

Neocicada hieroglyphica  adult
Example of a Neocicada hieroglyphica.

Cicadas belonging to the genus Cacama (Cactus Dodgers), including the Cacama valvata are emerging in south-western states like New Mexico and Arizona [link goes to image].

Cacama valvata (female)
Example Cacama valvata.

Cicadas belonging to the genus Tibicen are emerging in warmer areas of the United States. Joe Green found a Tibicen tibicen (possibly Tibicen tibicen australis [see Insect Singers site for song and description]) in Florida. Tibicen superbus [image] are emerging in Southern states as well.

Tibicen superbus
Example of a Tibicen superbus

Cicadas belonging to the genus Platypedia are emerging in Califorina [link goes to image]. See also Hello, my tree is clicking.

Cicadas belonging to the genus Okanagana are emerging in California [link goes to image].

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